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ON HIS HAVING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF TWENTY
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL, MAY, 1652,
ON THE PROPOSALS OF CERTAIN MINISTERS AT THE COMMITTEE
FOR PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL.
CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way has ploughed,
5 Hast reared God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream, with blood of Scot's imbrued,
And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud,
To conquer still; Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than War: new foes arise,
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones,
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
A hundredfold, who, having learnt thy way,
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
My true account, lest He returning chide,
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
TO CYRIACK SKINNER.
CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
5 Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In Liberty's defence, my noble task,
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
TO MY DEAR FRIEND, MR. CONGREVE,
ON HIS COMEDY CALLED THE DOUBLE DEALER.
WELL then, the promised hour is come at last,
But both to Congreve justly shall submit,
O tnat your brows my laurel had sustained !
50 Yet this I prophesy: Thou shalt be seen, Though with some short parenthesis between, High on the throne of wit, and, seated there, Not mine that's little — but thy laurel wear. Thy first attempt ar early promise made;
55 That early promise this has more than paid. So bold, yet so judiciously you dare, That your least praise is to be regular Time, place, and action may with pains be wrought, But genius must be born, and never can be taught. This is your portion, this your native store : Heaven, that but once was prodigal before, To Shakespeare gave as much; she could not give him more.
Maintain your post : that's all the fame you need;